Fostering a Lifelong Love of Music

Our Faculty

Sister_Patricia_St_John.jpgDr. Patricia A. St. John, CSJ

Dr. Patricia A. St. John, CSJ, is the Founder and Executive Director of Carondelet Music Center (est. 1992), an independent music school sponsored by The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. The Center boasts an enrollment of more than 200 students ranging in age from 3 months old to 88 years young.

Sister Patricia writes: "Children are born with a natural proclivity for musical expression. I want to nurture that innate musicality and foster that musical expression. My main focus is to identify the student's musical strengths, to draw upon his or her capabilities and to scaffold learning to develop musical skill. I do this in a student-centered environment that encourages creativity and imagination as the student actively engages in making music."

"My goal: to foster a lifelong love of music."

Sister Patricia is also Adjunct Associate Professor of Music and Music Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY, where she teaches Designing Musical Experiences for Young Children, a requirement for Music Education majors, and The Artistic Lives of Young Children, a requirement for Early Childhood majors. Sister Patricia received her doctorate in Music and Music Education, specializing in Early Childhood Music, from Teachers College, Columbia University. She holds an M.A. in Musicology from Syracuse University (Syracuse, NY), a B.S. in Music Education and a certificate in Piano Pedagogy from the College of St. Rose (Albany, NY).

As an accomplished classical pianist, Sister Patricia has performed in such local venues as The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, The Hubbard Interfaith Sanctuary at The College of St. Rose, and as part of The Festival of Religion and Art at The Chapel and Cultural Center of RPI. She continues to receive private coaching in piano performance with composer/pianist Richard Danielpour of New York City.

As a researcher, Sister Patricia focuses on early childhood music-making, the social dimensions of musical experience, scaffolding strategies, and the community of learners. She has presented her research in regional, national, and international venues including NYSSMA, NAfME (formerly MENC), ISME, ICMPC, SEMPRE, RIME, and AERA. Her scholarship is represented in several book chapters including Vygotsky and Creativity (2010), Critical Issues in Music Education (2010), and Listen to Their Voices (2007), and her work has been published in such journals as "Psychology of Music," "Early Childhood Connections," "The Mountain Lake Reader," and "Early Child Development and Care."

She is a newly appointed commissioner of the Early Childhood Music Education Commission, beginning a six-year term in 2012.


Barbara_Brothers.jpgBarbara Brothers

Barbara Brothers has been on the CMC faculty since 2010. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and an alumna of the National Music Camp at Interlochen, Michigan.

Barbara was a full-time string teacher in the Saratoga Springs City Schools for 25 years. Since her retirement, she has taught part-time in the North Colonie, South Colonie, and Bethlehem Schools. She has been the string instructor in the Town of Colonie Summer Enrichment Program since 2011.

Currently, Barbara performs with the Schenectady Symphony and the Glens Falls Symphony. She recently returned from Europe where she performed with the Croatian Chamber Orchestra in Croatia and Austria. She has accompanied the Irish Tenors at The Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Barbara is a certified Suzuki Teacher and also uses traditional materials to support her pedagogy. She encourages her students to participate in their school musical ensembles, the Northeast String Orchestra and the Empire State Youth Orchestra.

Barbara believes that each student should have the opportunity to develop their talents and she understands that each student has an individual approach to learning.

She welcomes students of all abilities from beginners to advanced players.


Katherine_Mueller.jpgKatherine (Kami) Mueller

Katherine (Kami) Mueller is a recent graduate of the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam where she received a Bachelor's degree in Music Education with concentrations in piano and piano pedagogy. Designated a Distinguished Scholar, Ms. Mueller received the highest honors at commencement, summa cum laude. She also holds New York State certification in Music Education K-12. As a self-employed accompanist, piano and voice teacher since 2009, Kami enjoys performing with local theater organizations and churches. Since 2005, she has also served as Church Organist/Choir Director for various denominations.

Kami is dedicated to fostering a lifelong love of music in her students, helping them to discover the joy of musical expression and the thrill of musical competence by making music through the piano. Whether would-be musicians or more experienced players, Kami is committed to nurturing the natural capabilities of her students, cultivating musical skill, and refining musical expression in a supportive, caring, and joyful environment. As they are comfortable and confident, students are encouraged to perform not only in CMC recitals, but in NYSSMA solo festivals and concerts as well. A native of the Capital District Area, Kami is happy to "be home" to teach. She is quite excited and eager to be part of the faculty at Carondelet!

When Kami is not teaching music, she is involved with the Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York, Albany, NY. An Assistant to the Director for this summer's camp, she has served in various leadership capacities including director of the counselor-in-training program. As a leadership specialist, she assisted students in gaining leadership skills and growing in leadership development through the planning and implementation of projects, and by encouraging them to badge completion.


MaryAlice_McCullen_Senecal.jpgMaryAlice McCullen-Senecal

MaryAlice McCullen-Senecal has been involved with the education of children and adults for more than 40 years. "It is my joy and passion to nurture a love of learning for all through music. I realize that although music is fun and creative, it is also key to all aspects of an individual's development. It is my goal to foster a thirst and love for music which will provide a lifetime of enjoyment."

In 1972, MaryAlice was the youngest student from the Octavo School of Musical Art to achieve a NY State certification to teach private piano. Since that time (more than 40 years!), she has taught numerous piano students, making a lifelong commitment to excellence in teaching. MaryAlice holds an M.S. in Piano Pedagogy and a dual B.S. in Music Education and Special Education. As a certified Kindermusik educator, MaryAlice also teaches all levels of the Kindermusik curricula at Carondelet Music Center. "By meeting the child or adult 'right where they are' and building upon their foundation and skills, together we meet individual needs, create goals, and enjoy the process of learning while achieving musical skill!"

When not teaching, MaryAlice is very involved with her immediate and very large extended family. She enjoys gardening, reading, the arts, crafts, ballroom dancing, theater arts, concerts, baking, cooking, volunteering for Hospice and getting together with friends. Recently, she has been blessed with a grandchild with whom she enjoys play time and babysitting.

MaryAlice is proud and happy to be part of Carondelet Music Center. "Let's create an exciting journey into the world of music together!"


Irina_Petrik.jpgIrina Petrik

Irina Petrik is an energetic, friendly and positive individual who is great with people and easy to work with. She loves helping others and making a difference in her community.

She is also an artist and an educator who strives for perfection, strongly believes in hard work but also knows the importance of making the learning process fun and interactive.

Irina writes: "My goal as a teacher is to strike the right balance in promoting discipline and focus, supporting growth and creating an environment which gives the students freedom to express themselves. I find that the most important thing I teach is confidence. It is truly fascinating that the biggest lesson the students need from us is to simply give them permission to be great.

I graduated from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with a BA of Music in Voice Performance with a Teaching Certificate as well as a Specialist Degree in Classical Voice from Kiev State Gliere Music College, Opera Department in Ukraine. I also studied classical piano from 1986-1994 at the Specialized Music School No. 31 in Kiev, Ukraine.

My experience includes, but is not limited to, working as a freelance Russian Diction Instructor for such opera companies as The Metropolitan in New York City, New York City Opera, Arizona Opera, Saratoga Opera (formerly Lake George Opera), and the Lowell House Opera at Harvard University, to name a few, and as mentor for the Kalinka Russian Children's Ensemble. I have performed with such organizations as Atlanta Balalaika Society Orchestra, Opera Saratoga, Mosaic Arts Opera, Hubbard Hall Opera Theater, Balalaika and Domra Association of America, Washington Balalaika Orchestra Society, and CR-Productions at Cohoes Music Hall.

Christina Shaughnessy

Christina Shaughnessy, born in Germany, has taught violin and string ensemble in prestigious International schools in Moscow, Indonesia, Viet Nam and Malaysia. Her most recent position was at The International School of Penang, Uplands. She participated with her students in international music festivals, among them The Music Festival of the Federation of British International Schools in Asia. She greatly enjoys working with students from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

Christina is a graduate of the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts in Germany with a teaching certificate for violin and string-ensemble. She also holds a degree in Public Relations from the Academy for Marketing-Communications Frankfurt, Germany.

Christina's main goal in teaching is instilling and fostering passion and enthusiasm for learning the violin. She believes in integrating students into ensembles at an early stage because “playing as a group and making friends is what making music is all about; it’s social!”

In addition to teaching music and playing/performing, Christina loves the outdoors. A former acrobatic skier, she loves hiking in the mountains and adventurous trips through the jungles of Asia with her two sons who inherited her passion for foreign cultures and travel.


Stefanie_Sudduth.jpgStefanie Sudduth

Stefanie Sudduth, a native Texan, has most recently performed with the Atlanta Opera as Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, and with the chorus in the productions of Akhnaten, Le nozze di Figaro, Cold Sassy Tree, and Turandot. Prior to that, she performed many roles with the Tri-Cities Opera Company in Binghamton, New York.

Some of her achievements include Mimi in La Boheme, Cio Cio San in Madama Butterfly (cover), First Lady in Die Zauberflote, Mrs. Gobineau in The Medium, and the Mother in Hansel and Gretel. She was a Preschool Special Education Teacher with the DeKalb County School System for the past four years in Georgia.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Performance from Texas Wesleyan University and a Master of Music degree in Opera from Binghamton University. She is looking forward to exciting new opportunities to teach and perform in the Capital Region, and enjoys spending time with her husband, Andrew, and her 2-year-old daughter Rose.

Stefanie writes: "I strive to be a wonderful teacher. A wonderful teacher listens to the students, tailors instruction to meet need, works well with others, ensures a welcoming and warm learning environment, and strives for personal growth and development. Each student should feel empowered to reach their fullest potential. Music is something that affects the life of every student. It is important to open the possibilities of that world. As a music teacher and vocal coach this is my ultimate goal."